1How to Get the Most Out of Your SD-WAN Deployment
Everything in IT seems to trend toward “software-defined,” and this includes local networks. From all indications, software-defined wide-area networks, or SD-WANs, are gaining traction among enterprises. According to a recent study, 58.5 percent of enterprises across the globe plan to adopt SD-WAN within the next two years, and researcher IDC estimates that worldwide SD-WAN vendor revenues will exceed $6 billion in 2020. Many organizations understand the benefits of SD-WAN—including optimized bandwidth at a low cost—and are ready to deploy it in their environments. While the benefits are clear, integrations can be challenging. In this eWEEK slide show, using industry information from Wayne Cheung, Director of NFV Product Marketing at Juniper Networks, we present several best-practice-type tips on getting the most out of SD-WAN technology.
2Metrics, Metrics, Metrics
One of the best ways to ensure SD-WAN is running properly is measuring its impact on the environment. This relatively simple task is something organizations may neglect but then find themselves unable to determine if the technology investment is positively impacting the business. Teams should be sure to track application performance against cost-based routing throughout the deployment.
3Why Tracking Metrics Are Important
As with any new technology, it’s critical to test SD-WAN technology in a contained environment before rolling it out to the entire organization. This ensures that any challenges the IT team runs into related to certain applications, optimizing the policies or integrations with existing environments when initially running the technology don’t affect the larger organization. This is particularly important for newer technologies like SD-WAN, where use cases have been few and far between as the technology is just starting to take off.
5Don’t Fly Blind
Since SD-WAN automates the ongoing management of connectivity, IT teams are removed from one of the more expensive and critical aspects of running an enterprise network on a day-to-day basis. They understand the policies they’ve put in place but also need assurance regarding the operation of the SD-WAN tasks.
6How to Address Running the Operation
IT teams need enhanced monitoring and visualization tools with alerts to ensure the environment is making the right determinations on how to route each type of application traffic accordingly while maintaining service-level agreements (SLAs). IT teams should consider monitoring tools when selecting their SD-WAN technologies and use the testing environment to get a handle on automatic load balancing and congestion management to better understand assurance issues.
7Keep It Secure
With breaches permeating news headlines, security is top of mind for every organization, and it’s a critical consideration for SD-WAN deployments. It’s important to ensure the traffic moving through the different connection paths is encrypted and for IT to consider how encrypting traffic can impact speeds when testing the technology and designing performance metrics.
8Internet Will Play a Role in Local Network
9Keep It Simple and United
It’s possible to layer virtual network infrastructure services, such as MPLS VPN, security, QoS/CoS and WAN optimization, alongside the SD-WAN on the same virtual CPE platform. One way is to add virtual network functions (VNFs) to the SD-WAN using network functions virtualization (NFV) technology. SD-WAN can be just another VNF that can run adjacently to one another or independently, giving enterprises more flexibility as they evolve virtualized-based services. Don’t overcomplicate the approach with racking and stacking multiple appliances that require multiple management systems. Look for an integrated platform that can deploy and manage the life cycle of SD-WAN and other virtual network services.